HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - Charlie Sheen might be turning over a new leaf.
"I'm done with 'winning.' I have already won," he told the audience at the taping of "The Comedy Central Roast" for him recently. It airs 10 p.m. EDT Monday.
"This roast might be over, but I'm still Charlie Sheen. In here is an eternal fire. I just need to keep it away from a crack pipe."
Sheen seemed in good spirits throughout the taping, smiling, glad-handing with the press and laughing at his own expense. He's working on a new sitcom project for cable and focusing on a direction other than being tabloid fodder. For Sheen, the roast might be the swan song to that part of his life.
"I came out unscathed," he said of the barbs slung his way. "You're looking at a guy who thrives on chaos."
Sometimes the jokes hit very close to home ("His nostrils are so snotty and full of coke that he now refers to them as 'The Hilton Sisters' ") to jabs at his catchphrases ("Charlie, if you're 'winning,' there must be something wrong with the scoreboard.") Everyone on stage agreed on two things. Sheen's a mess, and they love him anyway.
The roast, which was taped Sept. 10, featured a who's-who dais of train wrecks, such as Mike Tyson, Steve-O from "Jackass" and Duane Lee Chapman (better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter). None of them made excuses for Sheen's behavior over the past year. However, they all stood by him.
The Sheen roast had all the signatures of a party befitting its host -- free-flowing drinks; models in ancient Greek-style tunics that revealed one bare breast to accentuate the decadence; and an audience that laughed heartily as roasters recalled the real-life scandals of Sheen's past -- including losing custody of his children.
"When people are a mess, some are more dire than others," said Steve-O before the roast. "He told me he and I are a lot a like. We are all-or-nothing individuals, and when we go down, we go down hard. When we do it, we do it in legendary fashion. I couldn't help but be flattered. I don't know if he's misunderstood.
"I think he's doing most of the misunderstanding."
Sheen's rampages have resulted in thousands of dollars of damages to hotel rooms. He's been candid about heavy drug use, his association with prostitutes, a stint in rehab, being fired from the CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men," his war of words with "Men" executive producer Chuck Lorre and his on-again/ off-again relationship with ex-wife Brooke Mueller, with whom he has children.
Sheen's erratic behavior this year was so compelling that millions couldn't turn away from his podcasts, tweets and online talk show. He's latched onto the expression "Winning!" and referred to his three live-in lovers, blond and busty women, as "goddesses." He's been arrested several times, often for violent or drug-related behavior.
"Being raised in Hollywood might have been one of the big mistakes for him," said Chapman, whose reality series "Dog The Bounty Hunter" shows him nabbing lowlifes on the lam each week. "He isn't misunderstood. People know exactly what he is like. He's admitted to his fans that he's messed up. He's making a joke out of it, and he's taking this public humiliation like a man."
Tyson said the world knows what it's getting with Sheen. "No one can explain why he acts the way he does," said the former boxer. "That's why we are mystified when he acts the way he does."
"I have an affinity with him, but I don't feel sorry for him. I don't pity him at all."
Sheen was also counting his blessings by the end of the evening. "Despite all of that, I still have a family who loves me," he said.